OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews

English
ISSN: 
2309-7132 (online)
ISSN: 
2309-7124 (print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/23097132
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The OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each DAC member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review.

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OECD Development Co-operation Peer Reviews: Belgium 2015

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English
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Author(s):
OECD
08 Sep 2015
Pages:
108
ISBN:
9789264239906 (PDF) ;9789264239852(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264239906-en

Hide / Show Abstract

The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each member are critically examined approximately once every five years. DAC peer reviews assess the performance of a given member, not just that of its development co-operation agency, and examine both policy and implementation. They take an integrated, system-wide perspective on the development co-operation and humanitarian assistance activities of the member under review. Since the 2010 peer review, Belgium has reinforced the leadership and management of its institutional system for development co-operation, making it more strategic and taking steps towards delivering more co-ordinated and high quality development co-operation.

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  • Conducting the peer review

    The OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) conducts periodic reviews of the individual development co-operation efforts of DAC members. The policies and programmes of each member are critically examined approximately once every four or five years. Five members are examined annually. The OECD’s Development Co-operation Directorate provides analytical support, and develops and maintains, in close consultation with the Committee, the methodology and analytical framework – known as the Reference Guide – within which the peer reviews are undertaken.

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Belgium's aid at a glance
  • Context of Belgium's peer review

    Belgium is a federal state with a population of 11 million. Since October 2014, it has been governed by a coalition formed by four political parties, including liberals, Christian democrats and Flemish nationalists.

  • The DAC's main findings and recommendations
  • Towards a comprehensive Belgian development effort

    Belgium is a strong advocate for the preservation of global public goods. It does this mainly through the European Union (EU), by participating in international security treaties and international organisations. It helps put forgotten crises and conflicts on the EU agenda and takes part in military training and operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy.

  • Belgium's vision and policies for development co-operation

    The federal law on Belgian development co-operation sets out Belgium’s vision, which is to achieve sustainable human development. There is broad support for this goal. The government has improved its recent strategies, making them more practical and relevant for programming in the field.

  • Allocating Belgium's official development assistance

    Belgium’s ODA budget shrank by 0.20% between 2010 and 2013, and further significant cuts are forecast between 2015 and 2019. It is unlikely it will meet its ODA commitments, including the 0.7% gross national income target which is enshrined in law. Although public opinion and the government are in favour of this target, Belgium does not have a roadmap or timetable for increasing ODA and reaching its target. While the 2015 federal budget clearly sets out the cutbacks that DGD has to make up to 2019, DGD has yet to identify how and where it will make the required savings across its bilateral and multilateral programmes.

  • Managing Belgium's development co-operation

    Institutional reform has strengthened DGD’s capacity to steer and oversee Belgian development co-operation. Nevertheless, as the context and role of development co-operation continue to evolve, DGD and other Belgian actors will need to strengthen their co-ordination in order to maximise synergies and translate them into activities in the field. Further efforts to decentralise development co-operation and to adapt BTC’s business model should help Belgium improve the effectiveness of its assistance.

  • Belgium's development co-operation delivery and partnerships

    Since the last peer review, DGD has introduced a number of reforms to its country programming process in order to increase the quality of its aid. New programming guidelines aim to speed up project cycle management, and guidelines are being updated with a view to improving DGD’s use of partner systems. These reforms, once carried out, have the potential to increase the quality and effectiveness of Belgium’s bilateral co-operation. Their implementation will require regular monitoring and reporting of progress.

  • Results-based management, learning and accountability in the Belgian programme

    Belgium is in the process of strengthening its results culture and developing a more comprehensive follow-up and management system beyond BTC's project results measurement. Belgium wants to make results management the responsibility of its implementing partners; however, the mechanisms for consolidating the results information have yet to be clearly defined which could undermine the objective of country-level results management. Consolidating monitoring and evaluation mechanisms will be important in overcoming this challenge. In this context, Belgium should not lose sight of its current approach to using partner countries' monitoring systems to the maximum extent possible.

  • Belgium's humanitarian assistance

    Belgium has made enormous progress on its strategic approach to humanitarian assistance over the last four years, modernising its legal, policy and budgetary framework to allow quality, predictable funding arrangements in areas where it can clearly add value. The new framework allows for holistic programming and greater scope, including areas such as recovery and risk reduction. Belgium now needs to determine how it will make use of these new opportunities, including embedding risk into development partner country strategies. The budget is sufficient to meet Belgium's humanitarian objectives, although it will, in line with wider austerity measures, decline by 25% over the next five years. Disbursement has been an issue in the past, mostly due to administrative procedures outside DGD’s control; this has led to underspending. Belgium needs to put measures in place to prevent this happening in the future.

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